Maurice Creek returns to the court

Some minor but positive news for Indiana fans today: Sophomore guard Maurice Creek, whose promising freshman season was obliterated by a gruesome knee injury, is finally getting back on the basketball court. From the Bloomington Herald-Times:

“It was pretty good from working hard every day with (athletic trainer Tim Garl),” Creek said Tuesday. “Yesterday, he said I could play a couple of games. He wasn’t here yesterday, but I felt pretty good playing. It’s just taking it one day at a time. I felt probably 70, 75 percent playing on it. There’s still a couple of tweaks here and there. but as far as being back on the court, it felt pretty good.”

That's a pretty good progress report at this point in the offseason. Creek told the Herald-Times that the knee itself is fully recovered, but there is still "mental and physical" rehabilitation to be done. In other words, Creek has to learn to trust his knee again. That doesn't sound like very much fun.

Anyway, Indiana fans will just be happy their versatile guard is back on the court, and making progress toward a fully recovered fall return. Creek's injury devastated the Hoosiers in 2009-10. A young team, Indiana was never going to compete for the Big Ten title anyway, but Creek's hot start -- he was shooting 45 percent from three-point land and averaging 16.4 points per game before the injury -- gave Indiana an occasionally competitive lineup. (Somehow, Indiana beat Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden on December 8. I know, right?)

Like much of the Big Ten, the Hoosiers return almost everybody from last year's team, but the most interesting return will be Creek's. Whether the shooting guard will be able to replicate his early-season production will be a major difference between whether Indiana has another ugly .500 season or takes a step forward in coach Tom Crean's third year.

In other words, hopefully this photo doesn't become Maurice Creek's legacy. I mean, it's a great photo, but still.